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  1. #1
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    2009 GT Zaskar Elite 9r decent first mountain bike???

    I had posted before the few bikes I was looking at and pretty much people told me that they were "junk" and that for a $1,000 price range that I would be much better off looking at a 26er or a rigid fork!! Needless to say that was pretty discouraging so I went out looking for more bikes and found what I think is a great bike for a good price.

    The other ones I was considering before was the Jamis Exile 1, Cannondale TRAIL SL 29'ER 4, Specialized Rockhopper Expert 29, Gary Fisher Cobia, and the Haro Ally XC.

    What I have found is a 2009 GT Zaskar Elite 9r for $1,119 and it used to be $1,999. I think this is a good deal considering the compononets that is on the bike plus the savings of almost $900.

    One of the thing I like about this bike is that it feels a bit lighter than the others I were looking at. It has the Rock Shox Tora Race 29 front suspension with 100mm of travel which most of the other bikes I were looking at had the Dart 3's. The others I looked at had the Shimano Deore, but the Zaskar has the Shimano Deore 27-speed drivetrain with SLX rear derailleur, Juicy 3's brakes.

    Here is a pic for you guys in case you are interested.

    GT Zaskar Elite 9r

    Now, guys that I have gone up in my budget from $500 to $800 to $1,000 to $1,119..... is this finally a decent bike? Or is this still going to be a "pig of a bike"? I thought long and hard about buying a used bike, but there is always that SMALL chance that the frame might crack or something might break and I will not have the lifetime warranty for it! Any input would be appreicated!

  2. #2
    Tulsa
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    a little more info

    GT Zaskar Pro/Elite 9r (29"er)

    looks good, the peace 9er does also. The cranks and this and that may be a little heavy, but you'll be upgrading stuff as time goes by, it's what we do.
    wherever you go, there you are

  3. #3
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    I do not like the way the Peace looks... at all! Do you guys think that this 2009 Zaskar would be a much better bike than the others I looked at and worth the extra $200-300 dollars? While I was looking at the Zaskar the people at that shop were bashing Specalized saying that they didnt put much money in their frames and that the Rockhopper was much heavier and THEN.... when I went to the Specalized shop....they as well were bashing the GT!!!! How annoying and confusing!!

  4. #4
    Tulsa
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    search showed the elite speced out with XT, the one in your pic has a lower spec component set, not necessarily poor, but not what some elites at the 1999 etc pricepoint come at

    there are sales this time of year, you're educating yourself

    keep after it, good luck
    wherever you go, there you are

  5. #5
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    I know that the bike I was looking at had SLX on the rear deraileur. Not quite sure where that plays into as far as if its better than the XT???

  6. #6
    Tulsa
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    wherever you go, there you are

  7. #7
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    I just wanted to make sure that if I spent more on a bike in order to get the GT Zaskar, that I would getting a bit that would be significiantly more capable than the others I were looking at such as the Rockhopper etc.

  8. #8
    Guru of roux
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    Elonheater,

    I was in the same situation as you a few months ago and similarly increased my budget to get a little more bike and save myself a little coin in the long run. Just one remark though... $500-800 for your first mountain bike is far from unreasonable. In fact, it's spot on if you aren't sure that you're going to ride much over the long term. The important thing at this stage is to get the BEST-fitting, competively-spec'ed bike within your budget, realizing that you're going to upgrade components as you determine what your preferences and needs are. This includes why you ride, what terrain you like riding on, and what seasons you ride. Think of this as a given.

    Now, that being said, I tried out the usual ilk of Fisher, Specialized, Giant, Jamis, etc, 29ers, but ended up getting the Pro version of the Zaskar 9er (front sus) *and* the Peace 9er Multi (rigid). My budget was in the $1-2K neighborhood for one bike and sub-600 for the other. I wish I could give you more in the way of ride characteristics for the Zaskar, but I haven't ridden it too much recently in order to spare it this round of the mid-Atlantic weather and salt. However, I do ride the *hay* out of the Peace and it holds up nicely. We're talking mostly cross-country, i.e., the usual gravel, hard pack, shallow mud, snow, and a few roots thrown in for good measure. No huge drops in my near future. There is no reason why any of the bikes you've mentioned in your original post(s), including the Zaskar line, wouldn't be adequate or excel in this application. Furthermore, I'd agree with previous assessments from this forum that If you are looking to throw more than a 2.2-2.3 tire on your steed, the Zaskar's rear mud/snow clearance will get tight. The 2.3 Nevegals that came stock on my Zaskar are as "big volume" as I'd go with that frame.

    (Not to complicate things, but you might even throw the Access 9.7 29er into consideration since it is comparably spec'ed and priced as the Elite.)

    There, I've chucked my two pennies in the pot.

    IF YOU GET ANYTHING OUT OF THIS POST THIS IS IT:

    If there is one thing that's been rammed into my skull the short time I've been lurking on mtbr, it's that you should get the bike that fits your body and desired riding style best AND test ride anything and everything you can to make that determination. I repeat, get the bike that fits YOU best--do not get too concerned about components, weight savings, brand name, etc... From what I see, there will be plenty of time for that, my friend. Right now, get in shape, get your fundamentals down, be safe, and have F-U-N.

    There you go. I usually see the glass as half-full, so let's assume that your local bike shop will come through for you in the above respects and supplement what you find out here on the forum(s).

    Oh yeah. Please remember to reserve a little money for bike maintenance items (extra tubes, cleaning supplies, and so on) and a bike helmet, too. Some of those costs can creep up on you if you don't plan ahead. Even more vital, please save a little time every day to revisit this forum.

    Good luck, welcome, and do keep us informed!

  9. #9
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    Thanks I appreicate it! I have always bought "nicer" things when it comes down to my hobbies. So eventhough my skill level is probably on par with a $800, I would like to go ahead and spend the extra money to make sure that I do not outgrow it quickly!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elonheater
    I had posted before the few bikes I was looking at and pretty much people told me that they were "junk" and that for a $1,000 price range that I would be much better off looking at a 26er or a rigid fork!! Needless to say that was pretty discouraging so I went out looking for more bikes and found what I think is a great bike for a good price.

    The other ones I was considering before was the Jamis Exile 1, Cannondale TRAIL SL 29'ER 4, Specialized Rockhopper Expert 29, Gary Fisher Cobia, and the Haro Ally XC.

    What I have found is a 2009 GT Zaskar Elite 9r for $1,119 and it used to be $1,999. I think this is a good deal considering the compononets that is on the bike plus the savings of almost $900.

    One of the thing I like about this bike is that it feels a bit lighter than the others I were looking at. It has the Rock Shox Tora Race 29 front suspension with 100mm of travel which most of the other bikes I were looking at had the Dart 3's. The others I looked at had the Shimano Deore, but the Zaskar has the Shimano Deore 27-speed drivetrain with SLX rear derailleur, Juicy 3's brakes.

    Here is a pic for you guys in case you are interested.

    GT Zaskar Elite 9r

    Now, guys that I have gone up in my budget from $500 to $800 to $1,000 to $1,119..... is this finally a decent bike? Or is this still going to be a "pig of a bike"? I thought long and hard about buying a used bike, but there is always that SMALL chance that the frame might crack or something might break and I will not have the lifetime warranty for it! Any input would be appreicated!
    Check up this bike before take your desicion

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/198...-29er-Bike.htm

  11. #11
    Love,peace and baby geese
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    If your over a 180 pounds I wouldnt buy a bike with a dart 3 fork. One of my riding partners ride a GT peace 9r and loves it.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities.
    Albert Einstein

  12. #12
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    glassSpokes, you and i must be on the same wavelength i got the peace 9r multi then passed it on to my son and got the zask. pro as well,both great bikes, but i luv the h*** out of my zask. once in awhile i have to force myself to ride my Scalpel instead...

  13. #13
    Ariolimax columbianus
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    damn..............

    ftw

  14. #14
    Registered Dietitian
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    How tall are you?

    If you fit a medium, buy that Spot off eBay and laugh like a maniac down the Wild Turkey trail (yeah, I'm from Greensboro too- saw where Endurofit had replied to another thread of yours) like you stole something- because you did.

    It is a steal for that price. The fork and drivetrain are head and shoulders nicer, and the frame is great.

    I know a good mechanic who does excellent side work if you'd need it built upon delivery...

    -Tommy
    Registered Dietitian, Cycling Coach, E3: Elite Human Performance

    www.e3ehp.com

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcmtb
    Check up this bike before take your desicion

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/198...-29er-Bike.htm
    the fork and brakes alone make this a better deal. its have a solid build overall.

  16. #16
    Tulsa
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    also available in small and large,

    i've no affiliation, just a heads up
    wherever you go, there you are

  17. #17
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    I have a Peace 9r and love it, so I can attest to the quality of GT bikes. That said, the specs on the Sette Razzo are great for the same price as the Zaskar Elite that you are considering. I like the looks of the Zaskar better, but I'd definitely take a Reba over a Tora, Elixer CRs over Juicy 3s, X7/X9 components over Deore/SLX, and Mavic TN719s over WTB Speed Discs (I think that's what the GT had). Hands down, the Sette is a better spec'd bike.

    Now, the catch is that you probably won't be able to test ride the Sette to determine which fits best. It looks like PricePoint offers a 30-day money back guarantee, but that would involve breaking the bike back down, packing it, and shipping it back.
    Enjoy the ride!

  18. #18
    Guru of roux
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    Good find. (Sette Razzo)

  19. #19
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    2009gt zaskar

    try checking bikes direct if you can ride a no name frame they have some great stuff bought windsor cliff pro last year came with reba dual air shock far better then the dart or tora and i had no problems with bike or bikesdirect would recommend to anyone

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